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  1. #1

    Default Seattle to Baltimore next week

    Hello all! New to the forums...

    I am planning a last minute relocation/honeymoon trip from Seattle to Baltimore. We've got 11 days to do it leaving noontime Wednesday 10/8, arriving in Baltimore late night Sunday 10/19 or early Monday morning. Total distance around 4100 miles. We will be taking a tent to hopefully camp somewhere on the Oregon/California beach...I've heard Golden Bluffs is a nice campground, open to other suggestions. Rest of the time will be hotels.

    Start driving south on I5, maybe take 101 across the Astoria bridge if its daylight out, otherwise I5 to 30 west to get on 101.
    -Seaside
    -Tillamook
    -Golden Bluffs
    -Redwood National Park
    -Eureka
    -Bonus:Golden Gate Bridge
    -Salt Lake City
    -Moab
    -Arches National Park
    -Bonus:Four Corners, NM
    -St Louis Arch
    -Bonus:Indianapolis Speedway

    We've never been to any of the places listed, most interested in the first portion up to the Redwoods as I've heard the great things about the OR/CA coast. I'm sure I've overlooked some great stops along the way, please feel free to point them out.

    Heres the tentative route in google maps

    I anticipate driving straight though on the last leg between St Louis and Baltimore, arriving late Sunday or early Monday. This should give us an extra day to work with in Moab or along the coast.

    Thanks in advance for the last minute help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    One stop along the way that I would definitely make would be to the Grand Canyon. This would be very possible if you headed further South on your route to San Francisco and instead of going through Nevada, going into Arizona - I see you have Golden Gate Bridge listed on your post, but the Google map linked to doesn't include San Francisco.

    Your mileage estimate is pretty good, I would give a little extra padding there, maybe 250 miles or so. Still, an 8 or 9 day trip with 11 days to do it gives you a good cushion. I would advise against driving straight through from St. Louis to Baltimore. One thing many folks West of the Mississippi River fail to take into account is the density of traffic in the East. And while you may not run into typical Eastern traffic driving on a weekend, I've always found it's better to make the last couple of days of a long trip shorter driving days instead of longer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    Hi Tex, welcome to the R.T.A forums.

    Thats quite some trip, you must be excited.

    I'm not sure I can help on the small detail but this link for safe driving distance in one day may help. You will see that to keep a relaxed pace and see a few things along the way a trip of 4100 miles would be suited to aprox 8 days of driving. Therefor, spending a bit of time on the Oregon coast and possibly visiting the Golden gate will soak up most of your "free time" in itself.
    The mapping times, as you would have already noticed are unrealistic, they do not allow for sleep, eat, bathroom or even fuel stops never mind sight seeing. You have to wonder how they expect a human being to drive at aprox 65 m.p.h for 66 hours in a fuel less car, LOL!
    I would also not reccommend trying to do the last leg from St Loiuse to Baltimore in one long trip. You are looking at 14-15 hours driving and at the end of a long road trip it will wreck you.

    Have a safe journey.

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks for the quick responses!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mass Tim View Post
    One stop along the way that I would definitely make would be to the Grand Canyon. This would be very possible if you headed further South on your route to San Francisco and instead of going through Nevada, going into Arizona - I see you have Golden Gate Bridge listed on your post, but the Google map linked to doesn't include San Francisco.
    I had originally wanted to see Vegas/Grand Canyon/Hoover Dam, but figured those were enough to make it its own trip another time.

    Heres an updated google maps link, this one has the Golden Gate Bridge included along with some more stops as listed below.

    Heres a bit more detailed tentative itinerary. The beginning and end is somewhat planned, the days in the middle will probably slide around a bit depending how the weather is each day and how motivated we are to get home or go exploring.

    Day 1, Wednesday:
    -Land at Seatac around noon, drive to Seaside (4 hours, 185 miles) for sunset, any shops that might be open and dinner, knock off early.

    Day 2, Thursday:
    -Wake up, drive to Tillamook (1 hour, 50 miles), tour the cheese factory in the morning and continue down the coast to Golden Bluffs Campground, arrive after dark (8 hours, 340 miles), pitch a tent for the night.

    Day 3, Friday:
    -Get up with the sun and pack up the tent, check out the beach and Fern Canyon, maybe hike into the redwoods. Drive to Eureka (1.5 hours, 50 miles). Depending how much time spent hiking/Eureka, spend the night in Eureka, or press on to Ukiah or Santa Rosa (4.5 hours, 220 miles).

    Day 4, Saturday:
    -Drive across Golden Gate Bridge, eat lunch (or dinner depending on where day 3 ended), drive down Lombard Street. Continue on until tired. Guessing Reno (220 miles, 5 hours)

    Day 5, Sunday:
    -Drive to Salt Lake City from Reno (520 miles, 9 hours)

    Day 6,7,8
    -Great Salt Lake
    -Moab
    -Four Corners (debating crossing this off and heading back north to I70 skipping Albuquerque and Tulsa in favor of Denver and Kansas City)
    -any other stuff in this area

    Day 8, Wednesday
    -Four Corners, then on to Albuquerque (260 miles, 6 hours)

    Day 9, Thursday
    -Albuquerque to Tulsa (650 miles, 12 hours)

    Day 10, Friday
    -Tulsa to St Louis (400 miles, 8 hours)

    Day 11, Saturday
    -Check out, head to the Arch for the tram ride, eat lunch. Drive to Pittsburgh arriving late Saturday (625 miles, 12 hours), crash at my parent's house for the night

    Day 12, Sunday
    -Drive through to Baltimore (275 miles, 5 hours), unpack and get ready for work Monday

    Please look this over and see what you think...my dad is a truck driver, so I guess his drive all night mentality doesn't strike me as odd for some of the longer legs. I know day 11 will be seriously long, but I think we'll manage.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default You are an optimist!

    Quote Originally Posted by texasranger556 View Post
    Day 1, Wednesday:
    -Land at Seatac around noon, drive to Seaside (4 hours, 185 miles) for sunset, any shops that might be open and dinner, knock off early.
    Making this trip in 4 hours is possible but unlikely. Mapping programs do a poor job of planning for traffic issues. Plus, you're passing right by the single best must-see in the PNW, imho....Mt. St. Helens. It would really be a shame to miss that. If you plan on making this drive with no stops, why bother flying into Seattle? Why not just fly into Portland? Seattle itself is worth a day as well. Lovely city. Just before Seaside is the town of Astoria, famous for The Goonies locale, but full of history. It's the oldest settlement in the Washington/Oregon area, started in the 1830's by Jacob Astor, as Fort Astoria, a trading center. And Fort Clatsop is just down the right...the winter quarters of Lewis & Clark. Why would you want to zip past all this?

    Day 2, Thursday:
    -Wake up, drive to Tillamook (1 hour, 50 miles), tour the cheese factory in the morning and continue down the coast to Golden Bluffs Campground, arrive after dark (8 hours, 340 miles), pitch a tent for the night.
    More overly optimistic driving estimates. This is a windy, hilly, twisty-turny 2-lane road. Many times you will be driving at 25-35mph as the road goes through towns. Sometimes you barely get up to highway speeds when you get to the next town. Add to that, if you get behind a slow RV or trucker, you might be stuck slow-going for miles until you come to a place where it's safe to pass them (or they can pull over to let you pass). And, gosh, every 5 miles is a sight worth seeing, photo-opp, place worth exploring (scenic vistas, lighthouses, harbors, beaches, natural wonders, unique shops, sea lions, amazing super-sized sand dunes, you name it). I always allow 2 days for this stretch.

    Day 3, Friday:
    -Get up with the sun and pack up the tent, check out the beach and Fern Canyon, maybe hike into the redwoods. Drive to Eureka (1.5 hours, 50 miles). Depending how much time spent hiking/Eureka, spend the night in Eureka, or press on to Ukiah or Santa Rosa (4.5 hours, 220 miles).
    Yet again, optimistic. It's more feasible since you're staying on 101 but, gosh, you're not taking CA-1??? One of the most awesome beach driving experiences there is? Oh, and don't miss the redwoods. Just don't. They are natural wonders worth your time.

    Well, I'll stop now...I fear that I'm throwing too many wrenches into your plans. I just think you have a combination of two problems here: (1) zipping by things worth seeing and (2) unrealistic drive-times due to road conditions/traffic going on here.

  6. #6

    Default

    PNW Judy-Thanks for your thoughts, I appreciate your honesty. My truck is currently parked in Seattle and we've both done some Seattle stuff this past year, so that is the reason for landing in Seattle and not spending time there. I would like to visit Mount St Helens when its open (been there in the winter snowmobiling), but I am anticipating some short visits to Seattle for work in the near future and could probably fit MSH in without too much trouble.

    I don't know much about Astoria or Seaside and decided to spend the night in Seaside based on friend's recommendations. As you mentioned, I am optimistic in my drive times, but covering 4300 miles in 12 days forces a relatively quick pace. I hope to get a decent sampling of the areas I mentioned and maybe come back to visit when we have the proper time available. Ideally we would take a month or so to do the trip I have planned, but its just not feasible with our current work schedules.

    Driving down the CA-1 may be an option if we free up a day by skipping four corners. I will certainly keep that in mind once we get started driving down the coast and get a feel for drive times.

    Again, thanks for the suggestions/criticisms. The been-there-done-that accounts are helpful when planning such a long trip.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default goonies

    Quote Originally Posted by PNW Judy View Post
    Just before Seaside is the town of Astoria, famous for The Goonies locale, but full of history.
    BTW, the person who owns the Goonies house is very nice. During a roadtrip a few years ago, we were walking around Astoria and we walked up to the house just to take a few pictures. She saw us, invited us in, and gave us a tour. She even had a small guestbook for us to sign.

    Of course, this was about 5-6 years ago, so the house could have changed hands since then. Its also still just a private home, and I certainly wouldn't go there expecting to get a tour. But it is a great example something that can happen just by getting out there and talking to people.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
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    3,318

    Default MSH another time then...cool.

    Quote Originally Posted by texasranger556 View Post
    I don't know much about Astoria or Seaside and decided to spend the night in Seaside based on friend's recommendations. As you mentioned, I am optimistic in my drive times, but covering 4300 miles in 12 days forces a relatively quick pace. I hope to get a decent sampling of the areas I mentioned and maybe come back to visit when we have the proper time available. Ideally we would take a month or so to do the trip I have planned, but its just not feasible with our current work schedules.
    I'm more worried about your day from Seaside to Golden Bluffs CG. I think you'll have to get up and going very early to not get into the campground very, very late.

    Seaside is a nice enough little town. It has a boardwalk and lots of touristy stuff. It's not really my cuppa tea but I know lots of people really enjoy it.

    I don't recall you stating what time you're arriving in Seattle. If it's early enough in the day, I suggest you drive farther down the coast. Possibly to Tillamook since you want to explore the cheese factory. It opens at 8am and I'd guess you'll want about an hour there. If you hit the road and leave Tillamook by 9-9:15am or so, it would give you better odds to make it to Golden Bluffs at a relatively decent time.

    Driving down the CA-1 may be an option if we free up a day by skipping four corners. I will certainly keep that in mind once we get started driving down the coast and get a feel for drive times.
    Having done both, and if I had to choose, I would do CA-1. Four Corners is very cool in terms of saying "I was in 4 states at the same time!". It's a momentary pleasure versus several hours of jaw-dropping scenic views. But they're both cool.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Oh, that's so neat!

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    BTW, the person who owns the Goonies house is very nice. During a roadtrip a few years ago, we were walking around Astoria and we walked up to the house just to take a few pictures. She saw us, invited us in, and gave us a tour. She even had a small guestbook for us to sign.
    On one of our times through Astoria, not too long after my kids saw the movie for the first time, when they were maybe about 4 and 6, they wanted to visit The Goonie House. We just drove by and didn't even stop. I wonder if, at that time, this lady would have given two excited kids a tour. They would have really whooped about that. Dang...never thought of that.

    I guess that's a lesson that we shouldn't be so skittish about bothering people. It might yield some pleasant surprises sometimes. :)

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